Shokoku-ji Temple(相国寺)
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Shokoku-ji Temple(相国寺)

1. Location-Access

This temple is located near Doushisya University at Gosyo Area, Kyoto.
It takes 8 minutes by subway from Kyoto sta. to Imadegawa, 5-minute walk.
地下鉄 京都駅(8分)→今出川駅、(徒歩5分)→相国寺)

2. Who built this temple?

1) In 1392, the Rinzai Sect was constructed by the 3rd Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga due to the royal order from the Emperor Gokomatsu.
First priest is Musousoseki and the principality is Syaka Nyorai.

2) The shodou was burned down during Ohnin wars, the temple has produced many Buddhist saint as the central for the Zen government and contributed to the rise of Zen culture in Muromachi period.

3) In Muromachi period, this temple has been worshiped as the praying grounds for national peace and was positioned 2nd ranking of all five mountains.
Kyoto five Mountains: Exceptional Nanzen-ji, 1st Tenryu-ji, 2nd Syoukoku-ji, 3rdKennin-ji, 4th Tofuku-ji, 5th Manjyu-ji.
(室町時代の五山制度が行われると、「五山之上」という最高位に認められ、第2位と位置つけられた。 京都五山 別格:南禅寺、1位:天龍寺、2位:相国寺、3位:建仁寺、4位:東福寺、5位:万寿寺)

4) Later on, cathedral ceiling had a repair under the support of Toyotomi Family and Tokugawa Family, but it was burned down again by conflagration of Tenmei. In 1807, it was finally repaired back to the former state.

5) It used to be much bigger and it is said that there used to be a pagota that stood more than 100 meters high. That is almost twice as high as the five-story tower of Toji temple.

3. What is this temple famous for ?

1) Representative Zen Temple in Japan.  日本の代表的な禅寺

① Shokoku-ji Temple is Ashikaga’s family temple and the base of five mountain lecture
which produced famous Ink-painting high priest such as Josetsu, Syubun and Sassyu.
② There are 13 sub-temples in this temples. Kinkaku-ji Temple and Ginkaku-ji Temple are external sub-temple of Shokoku-ji Temple.

2) Crying dragon “Inryu Figure” ,Sugito painting and White figure 鳴き龍「幡龍図」、杉戸絵と白象図

The ceiling picture of the oldest remaining Hatto hall in Japan is “Inryu-zu” made by Kano noble and called “Naki Ryu(Crying Dragon)”. In passing Sanmon, the approach extends to sew between the pine trees and the Syoten-kaku Museum is impressive.
In autumn, we can enjoy red colored leaves from the gate to Hatto hall.

4. What is highlight ?

1) 総門  Sou-mon(Main gate)  京都府指定文化財

Somon was built in 1797, Edo period.

2) 方丈庭園 Houjyo garden   京都府指定文化財

This gate was built at the west of Somon, but built in do period.

3) 法堂     Hatto hall (Impotant cultural property)

This building was built by the support of Hideyori, in 1605.
There is Inryu-zu made by Kano Hitunobu another name is “Crying Dragon”. It is said this is the oldest remaning Hatto building in Japan. It’s about 400 years old and painting of dragon on the ceiling is very famous building is called Hallo where Buddhist priests give lectures and so on.
(江戸時代1605年、秀頼の寄進により建てられた。天井には狩野光信作「幡龍図」が描かれていて、別名「鳴き龍」と呼ばれている。日本にある法堂で最古らしい。 400年ほどの前の

4) 方丈    Hojyo (Abbot’s Quarters)  京都府指定文化財

Hojo was rebuilt in 1807,Edo period.  The front garden of Hojyo is specified by Kyoto Prefecture designed cultural property doe to a dry landscape garden and Chokushi-mon gate. Kannon’s paitings are Sugito’s painting called “Hokke Kannon” and white figure made by Haradaichu in Edo’s painter.

5) 開山塔

This hall was built with a dry landscape garden in 1807 and enshrined Musousoseki.

6) 宣明(浴室)      Senmyo(bathing room)    京都府指定文化財

It was rebuilt in 1596, Edo period. Zen Sect is training to be bath.

7) 経蔵   Kyozo     京都府指定文化財

Kyozo was built in 1860, Edo period.    (江戸時代1860年建立。)

8) 洪音楼      Koon-ro (bell tower)     京都府指定文化財

This tower was built in 1860, Edo period.  (江戸時代1843年建立。)

9) 天響楼

This building was built in 2011 as a proof of friendship in Daisyokoku-ji in China.

10) 庫裏    Kuri (Priest living room)     京都府指定文化財

Kuri was built in 1807,Edo period.    (江戸時代1807年の建立)

11) 弁天社 Benten-sha Shrine 京都府指定文化財

It is enshrined Benzaiten.   (弁財天を祀る弁天社である。)

12) 宗旦稲荷社    Sutan Inari-sya Shrine   京都府指定文化財

This shrine enshrined Soutan Inari-sya Shrine which is a fox traditional from this temple.

13) 承天閣美術館    Jotenkaku Museum

This museum display temple treasures.
(相国寺の寺宝を展示している美術館である。 国宝5点、重要文化財143点)